Angela Fallentine shares part of a Q&A panel discussion from the World Congress of Families.
Sharon Slater, United Families International: You leave the meetings, processing the info, and sometimes processing the fact that previously pro-family allies have turned on us. Sometimes you have to be okay with just leaving your mark. Do what you can do and while you may not win all the battles, you still fight.
When you see what people (at the U.N.) are really trying to promote, it is discouraging. However, the majority of people in the world still believe in the family. We really are the majority. If we don’t hold up the flag, however, we’ll lose. But we stay dedicated. When your allies turn on you and you’re sold out and they cave into pressure, it can be really disheartening. But that’s the time when I get on my knees and pray.
There would be so many more people involved in these kinds of things if they only knew and understood what was at stake.
We can get discouraged when we think we aren’t having enough impact, but when you see real people’s stories, that gives it life. When one person speaks up in truth, other people are empowered and they begin to see the truth as well.
Robert Baehr, Movie Guide: I don’t feel overwhelmed, I feel deeply optimistic about our times. When truth is spoken well, it always wins. This young generation who do believe in truth, they are on fire! There is a lot of excitement.
Kelli Houghton, Family Watch International: First, I have to say that the youth and college students are amazing. Over and over I hear them say, “I want to do something, but I don’t know what to do.” They may be fearful to step forward [to protect and defend the family]. I can relate! That first United Nations meeting I went to was frightening. But what I had was a message. I believed in families. That is the first step. Then there is the second step. Then the third. I think we’re our own worst enemies when we think, “Do people care about what I have to say?”
Robert Baehr, Movie Guide: My advice and encouragement? First, don’t live a defeatist mentality and second, grab someone and mentor them. Find a mentor! Pass it on. Teach them what you know and have learned.
As we defend our beliefs, we need to be compassionate with others. They come to us in their brokenness and if we aren’t compassionate, we lose the argument before it starts.
Sharon Slater, United Families International: I believe in miracles, especially in this cause. Believe in what you can do. There is so much that you can do. You will get help.
Sharon eloquently shared a story about when she was very new at the U.N. and just helping out behind the scenes. Down on the floor of the U.N. was a woman deep in the trenches of an argument in which she was trying to defend her position on the family. This woman was asked by moderators for a citation to back up her pro-family position, but she didn’t have the particular reference they required in order for her to win the debate. Sharon was watching this and had a strong impression that she needed to check her purse. She said she started to shake when she realized that randomly, out of all the papers she had in her purse, she had a print out of the EXACT reference this woman needed down on the floor of the U.N. Sharon didn’t know how to get her this document but she mustered up some courage and walked down onto the floor of the U.N. and quietly placed the document in front of the woman. The woman was shocked and taken aback, but continued and said something to the effect, “Ladies and gentleman, I have the reference and documentation you are asking for.” She won the debate in favor of the family. It was nothing short of miraculous.
Sharon said the woman was overwhelmed and asked her how in the world did she know that they would ask for that exact citation, and how did she think to bring it that day? Sharon explained that she didn’t know, but the Lord knew and she believes in miracles.